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Balloons and lights :: Happy Birthday Canberra

Balloons and lights from Canberra Day celebrations

Today (actually I think it’s tomorrow) Canberra is celebrating its 100th birthday. For residents this has been a great time of celebration and reflection and for us newcomers it’s been an opportunity to learn its history.

A city that was born out of solving an argument between Sydney and Melbourne about which location should be capital. It was completely designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the prize winner in an international competition to design Australia’s capital. Can you imagine? The prize being the honour of designing an entire city. Today planners work hard to keep his vision even in the newer suburbs and I’m sure some are a little sad that the 8 storey limit that was imposed on buildings has just been decimated by the 32 (?) storey monstrosity that is making its way towards the sky in Belconnen.

For me it still doesn’t really feel like home. I spent time in Sydney as a child, my Mum was from Sydney and I lived there for 15 years so I still feel more a Sydneysider than a Canberran. I have an ongoing love hate relationship with it. I love the nature and the fact that I can walk less than 1km from my house and come across a mob of kangaroos. I love to true seasons, the cold and the abundant bird life. Now if I could just swap out the majority of drivers for those that don’t speed or tailgate and know how to merge, then I may be content.

With ‘Canberra bashing’ about to enter the dictionary I defy any visitor not to find something they love about the city. It gets a bad wrap as being boring and full of public servants (the latter is true). It certainly doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of a very large city but then it’s barely bigger than a large country town and it has its own energy and charms.

Today is the end of week long celebrations and we have enjoyed Enlighten (top) and watching the balloons take off (bottom) from the grounds of Old Parliament House (now the Museum of Democracy) this morning at dawn.

Happy Birthday Canberra.

March 11, 2013 \ canberra \ 2 comments

Give me the child until seven…

Boy at 10 months and at 7

and I will show you the man. If you remember I did a similar post when my jolly monkey turned 7. Well the little one turns 7 today and thanks to this Jesuit motto it’s been looming on the horizon like some kind of use by date for me to get all my influence in before he becomes hard coded into the man. I don’t devote any space to my little men on this blog and I do this on purpose but this day, the 7th birthday, is my one exception.

My little one was a very serious baby, he studied us and the world around him like he knew the way of the world and we were clueless. We found ourselves thinking that he’d been here before. He was not a difficult baby, a bad sleeper or any trouble. He’s my cuddly one and still loves to snuggle at any opportunity. Here’s what I know, he’s got an inner sensitivity to his surroundings, he’ll stop to watch ants, pat a cat, give me a cuddle if he thinks I’m feeling sad. He gets excited by my new fabric purchases, he’s aware of changes and he pays compliments. He’s a man of few words and my brother summed it by saying he says so much in expression. The boy has turned into a truly funny kid, with a quick wit and strange sense of humour although he doesn’t laugh out loud very often. The bottom photo is him attempting his cackling witch impersonation because he only had one front tooth. He loves dancing and music.

To me he is somewhat of an enigma and the cyclist’s and my resounding question each week is ‘where did he come from?’. I have such a strange yearning in my core that wants to know what the world holds for him and at the same time I never want him to grow out of his eccentricities, like the random collections (rocks mostly), the way he assembles items on his toy box and his little drawings that appear all over the house. Here’s what I also know, he’s curious, smart and opens doors for women – I think the man will be just fine!

February 9, 2012 \ family \ 6 comments

Chocolate Anyone?

In our house Easter chocolates appear in nests in the garden on Easter Sunday. They build their nests (and ours) and our little men end up with a giant stash of assorted chocolate. It’s the only day of the year that they can have chocolate with breakfast. I think we are now all overloaded on it – if that’s possible. Here’s a picture of my little man with his stash (the Easter bunny is very organised and fair) and his Mannie bear hot on the trail of the eggs left by the Easter bunny. Happy Easter everyone.

April 5, 2010 \ family \ 0 comments - be the first

Give me the child until seven…

and I will give you the man. This Jesuit motto has been running through my head leading up to my Jolly Monkey’s 7th birthday. Could it be that the person he will become has already been hardwired? Sometimes I find myself watching him and wondering what life has in store for him. This gives me a feeling that can only be described as heartache but not of the fearful kind. Here’s what I know… he has a vast imagination with such detailed stories of events and characters that I can’t believe they are not real. He has a spark that people are drawn to, which gives me comfort that he will survive socially but also fills me with trepidation. He has a strange sense of humour and he giggles uncontrollably when trying to tell a story he thinks funny – mostly he never makes it to the punchline. He loves words and reading and will pull single words out of something you’ve said to him just to know their meaning. Here’s what I also know… he’s the fussiest eater on the planet and I honestly believe every author of fussy eater cookbooks would be challenged by him. He has a quick temper especially when he feels an injustice has been served. Oh and did you notice he’s missing a tooth? We think he may have swallowed it and just so the tooth fairy wouldn’t forget him he made me take a picture of his missing tooth, print it and he put it on his door. He certainly knows how to plan ahead, especially when money is involved… I think the man will be just fine.

February 19, 2010 \ family \ 1 comment

Birthday Month Continues

My little man turns 5 today but we celebrated with a party last Saturday. Here he is ready for his party and posing in his birthday t-shirt (I’m not sure about this ‘smile’). The birthday t-shirts are now a tradition and they have definitely evolved over the last 5 years. They used to be made with printable iron-on transfers with a naff design hastily created in Illustrator. Then I started to make applique t-shirts and this year they have the same number of stars as their age; I love stars and odd numbers so this worked for me and they don’t seem to mind. The green alien was his choice and I’m just glad that it wasn’t blue this year.

February 9, 2010 \ family \ 1 comment

And So Begins Birthday Month

 
My darling husband, aka the cyclist, turns 42 today. He’s quite excited by this as up until last week he thought he was already 42 so he feels like he has won back a whole year. Just one of the many reasons I love him – if the details are not important then he doesn’t pay attention. I mean really, what is an age anyway? I admit I don’t devote much of my blog world to the cyclist – I kind of like to keep him to myself. He’s an extraordinary person who can be frustratingly grumpy and overwhelmingly thoughtful. Without exaggeration he’s so smart that I often struggle to keep up with the way his brain works. He has a quick wit and watching him with the boys is one of my favourite pastimes. Best of all, he puts up with me and after 22 years of knowing him and 11 years married to him he’s still the person I most want to spend my time with.
Happy Birthday sweetie – if you’re stuck for a new bike colour how about this one?

January 31, 2010 \ family \ 3 comments

Birthday Hearts

I just wanted to wish a Happy Birthday to my oldest friend in the world. It’s quite rare these days that you can boast of knowing someone for 37 years. We grew up in a small outback town, went to university in different cities, lived at opposite ends of the earth on more that one occasion and now find ourselves once again living in the same place. She is a big fan of hearts and I know would love these little goodies from Kikki-K.

January 1, 2010 \ friends \ 0 comments - be the first

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas one and all. Thanks to the beautiful rain that is still falling we were not woken up at the crack of dawn by our little men. They are well pleased with their stash and as I type my darling husband is trying to build one of two Lego gifts and they are ‘helping’ him. I have a few more minutes of peace before my kitchen duty begins. It is just us four for lunch today but I’m still going all out and we’ll be having lamb cutlets with mint aioli, asparagus and snow peas and a roasted pumpkin, spanish onion, spinach and fetta salad. Topped off with an orange and chocolate pudding for dessert. That should keep us going until Boxing Day.

December 24, 2009 \ family \ 0 comments - be the first

6 Sleeps to Go

As the boys would say… 6 sleeps to go! Between the advent calendar and the counting of sleeps they are getting very excited about Christmas. School is now over for the year and our tradition of baking and creating for our friends is all done. The last of our little Christmas treats left the house this morning and I think they looked quite cute all packaged up with ribbon and gift cards from Kikki-K. Now all I have to think about is what to cook for Christmas lunch. Suggestions anyone?

December 19, 2009 \ family \ 0 comments - be the first

It’s My Birthday

 
We have broken with the Apple tradition this year for my birthday as was the case last year and the year before. Thank you to the Musee d’Orsay for closing down for refurbishments for a year. As a result I have spent this morning having breakfast with my darling husband in the National Botanical Gardens and then visiting Masterpieces from Paris, which opened today, at the National Gallery of Australia.  We were joined by my oldest friend in the world which made the morning even more perfect. Included are two of the most famous and standout paintings by Vincent Van Gogh; Van Gogh’s bedroom at Arles – 1889 (top) and Starry Night – 1888 (bottom).

December 4, 2009 \ celebrations \ 0 comments - be the first

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